Friday, January 18, 2008

Kenya police kill five on last day of protests

by Bogonko Bosire

32 minutes ago

Posted here at 11:20 a.m. on 1/18/2008

NAIROBI (AFP) - Kenyan police shot dead five protestors Friday on the last day of rallies against President Mwai Kibaki's re-election before the opposition launches a threatened boycott of government-linked companies.

The fresh violence came as the United Nations said former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan would fly to Kenya on Tuesday to help mediate in the political crisis.

Four people were shot dead in Kibera, Nairobi's largest slum, and another shortly after Friday prayers in Mombasa, Kenya's second [largest] city, police said, bringing to 24 the number of people killed since rallies kicked off Wednesday.

"The demonstrators (in Kibera) were charging at the officers with stones and that is when police fired at them. Four of them have been killed," a police commander told AFP.

At least 19 other Kenyans have been killed over the past two days, including four in overnight clashes in the Narok area, northwest of the capital.

Police found the bodies of four members of Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe with arrow or machete wounds. They were killed by Maasai youths who supported opposition leader Raila Odinga in last month's disputed presidential poll.

Demonstrations were also held in the western towns of Kisumu and Eldoret, the worst-hit by the wave of violence that shattered Kenya's image as a beacon of stability in the restive region.

Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) said it was ending the protests because civilians were paying too heavy a price.

"Today is the last day of demonstrations. We have seen a lot of suffering caused by reckless police action against peaceful protestors," ODM spokesman Salim Lone told AFP.

Full story on Yahoo News (AFP).

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